Table of Contents
Key career development objective
To improve my communication skills, primarily the effectiveness of information conveyance, and improve my negotiation skills.
Personal and academic experience
In the past three months, I have been working hard to improve my communication skills, primarily improving my effectiveness in communicating ideas and negotiating deals. The ability to convey information without distorting the intended message and ability to convince when negotiating deals is crucial in the business world. It is therefore indispensable to improve my communication skills to help advance my dream of running multinational businesses.
I carried out personal reflection two weeks ago, and I was able to note immense improvement on how I communicate and share ideas with my college mates. The university has enabled me to identify and improve various development areas through my personal and academic exposure. However, I have problems in conveying complex ideas or information. In the recent week, I had a group discussion with my course mates, and I was able to note that I comprehend issues faster and able to tailor a suitable solution using written instructions. Though, I am having weakness in expressing ideas or conveying instructions verbally. I find myself repeating statements and not arranging my arguments in an organised manner. I was forced to write them down first and clarify to one of the members so that he can explain to the group.
During my internship, I was given responsibility to advice clients on which mortgage plan was better for them considering age, income and their personal preference. I had issues providing enough information that would convince them to enter into a deal with the company. In one instance, a customer told me that our business rates were high compared to our competitors, which should not be the case for a good negotiator. The negotiator is required to remove price element in customer’s mind and show how it will meet his/her expectations. I had to request for my supervisor to talk to the client who then agreed to enter into a mortgage deal with our company. In this light, I was able to notice that without excellent negotiation skills, it is almost impossible to sell the simplest product or service.
Furthermore, most lectures, articles and books on human resource, marketing and communication emphasises on the effectiveness of conveying information, and high convincing power an essential element of building a successful business. Therefore, my personal and academic experience shows that it imperative for one to demonstrate good command in communication and negotiation to realise success in the business world (Abbott, 1998).
JoHari Window Model
Personal SWOT Analysis
The two models demonstrate that significant impediment to my personal development is communication skills. For instance, you cannot provide leadership or carry out managerial duties without the ability to communicate well. Also, consultation requires the same skill, and therefore it is impossible to conduct business or participate in a team without possessing strong communication skills. More importantly, negotiation is a necessity in winning business deals and thus necessary to learn. Furthermore, I can use the university environment to learn and train myself on how to negotiate and communicate effectively.
The recruitment, appraisal or promotion processes majorly determines the ability of a candidate to express him/herself on how best they can handle a given responsibility or position in an organisation. Also, individuals with high interaction skills get hired since they can meet people and close deals (Bordone, 2000). Furthermore, the majority of multinational business owners have shown strong ability to express themselves and negotiate business deals. The effective communication has the following merits;
|Improve leadership quality||Improvement of teamwork performance|
It is notable that communication and negotiation skills are indispensable in ensuring effective in leadership and improving quality of teamwork (Guffey and Loewy, 2010).
Application of theories
Communication styles & Constructivism theory
There are three stages to achieve communication proficiency (Kehoe, 2011). They are as discussed below;
Understanding my communication style
The action-oriented, people-oriented, process-oriented and idea-oriented are four basic categories of communication techniques (Bormann, 1980). I am an action-oriented communicator. I address issues directly and with vigour, but impatient as shown in my SWOT analysis. I put all my effort in achieving a set objective and do not allow anything to distract me.
The rational and systematic individuals possess process-oriented communication style. The individuals in this category have an easy understanding and are systematic in their arguments. On the other hand, idea-oriented are creative and inspiring, but always difficult to understand. Consequently, the people-oriented individuals express their ideas, feelings and motivation. Individuals in this groups have impulsive and subjective conversations (Hoegl and Gemuenden, 2001).
According to Thill, Bovée and Agarwal (2015), the individuals who understand their communication style can improve communication competency compared to those who do not have a clue of their style.
Understanding and valuing communication style of others
According to Bordone (2000), the individual who wishes to develop their communication skills is required to appreciate communication styles of others. The failure to value and acknowledge the differences in communication styles of others, and results in conflict that impedes personal development since an individual will work hard to disapprove his/her colleague instead of striving towards self-development (Rouse, 2010).
Ability to merge personal style with others
I learned that it is important to have a flexible communication mode, which can easily merge with others to reduce conflict and improve information delivery. According to Thill, Bovée and Agarwal (2015), inability to blend personal style with others reduces the effectiveness of information delivery mostly when the audience are judgmental.
We can do it today.
I decided to categorise my group mate communication style. I found out that she was process-oriented and therefore it was easy to understand her. She was organised and systematic in explaining herself (Boone, Kurtz and Block, 1997). I had to adjust my action-oriented style through easing my decisiveness and impatience to achieve the desired objective of the conversation.
Furthermore, I had to adjust how I expressed myself by arranging my arguments to improve information delivery and reduce annoyance. The process-oriented individuals get irritated by a disorganised person. Such individual switches off their mind and does not take in any of the new information.
Negotiation is important in determining the needs of parties involved and satisfy them. The identification of the necessity of the other party simplifies negotiation since you can use it in your favour. For example, if the party selling a product is desperate for cash, you can offer the lowest price possible.
The negotiation revolves around safeguard of position instead of interests, and it creates two perspectives in a situation: a winner or loser. Fisher and Ury’s theory state that in a negotiation parties consider each other as enemies (Bisen and Priya., 2009). Also, distrust is the central theme and threat are used rather than an offer.
The divergence between participants’ needs and concerns are the primary issues that guide a negotiation deal. A good negotiator requires excellent communication skills which involve listening and analysing information before giving a response (Lewicki, Barry and Saunders, 2010).
I decided to exercise negotiation skills by selling my old furniture. My coursemate was interested in buying since he had moved to my neighbourhood. I thought of the factors that he might consider during our negotiation. Consequently, I identified areas of compromise and formulated alternatives.
We met at my place to give him an opportunity to scrutinise the furniture, which is important in forming a decision. I gave him my terms of sale, but with room to loosen them without affecting my compromised level. He pointed out that the furniture was old and expensive. He added that it was better to purchase new ones since the price difference was not big. I had to give him a reasonable price of the same furniture in the market and convince him that it was the best deal. Also, I relaxed the terms, and we got into an agreement. I learned that before getting into a negation, it is indispensable to have prior information about the subject to avoid opponent using it as a defence.
Career action plan
The table below shows my personal development plan for a period of eight years;
|Objectives||Timescale||Action Required||Review and evaluation Date|
|Improve communication and negotiation skills||November 2017||November 2018|
|Venturing into furniture business||January 2018|
|Expanding my business to other countries within Europe||January 2020|
Finally, I can understand my major weakness is communication. The strict adherence to my action plan shows that it can take me a year to effectively pass information and improve my negotiation skills (Gould, 2017). The university environment provides a good platform to exercise my communication skills. It is therefore important to maximise the opportunity by increasing my participation in group discussion and leadership position. Also, I was able to identify my strengths and thus able to use it to my advantage. Consequently, I was able to determine my communication style which is critical in ensuring that I build competence and learn to appreciate others. Lastly, I was able to understand the essential matters that need consideration during a negotiation. Furthermore, I was able to sell my old furniture without compromising with the terms that I had in mind. Therefore, I see good progress regarding my ability to negotiate for better terms and achieve deal closure.
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